X-C Documents

The X-C page provide several resources for planning your next cross country adventure.

Need a Mission?

Spent enough time flying giant (or not so giant) circles around Springfield? Need a goal and a little purpose for some X-C this weekend? If so we have a number of ideas for you. 

And remember – any and all flights can be logged for the On-Line Contest (OLC) whether it’s a DIY, Boomerang, whatever – register and log it. You can compare your personal performance, or NESA to Post Mills or Sugarbush clubs etc.

Minimum requirements for X-C using club equipment

All Aircraft

  • Completion of SSA Bronze Badge Requirements
  • Completion of FAI Silver C Badge five-hour duration and altitude gain requirments
  • Minimum of 50 glider flights and 20 solo glider hours
  • Minimum of five flights logged in type in the proceeding 60 days
  • Log-book endorsement by a club CFI-G for the assembly, disassembly, and trailering of the type of aircraft to be flown
  • Approval for each X-C flight by a club CFI-G after a review of flight preparations

Student Pilots – Remember that in accordance with the FAR’s, the requirement for instructor sign off after review of flight preprations applies to all student XC flights even if flying your own aircraft.


Badge Requirements


Established in the 1930’s, Federation Aeronautique Internationale (“FAI”) Badges acknowledge internationally-recognized levels of soaring achievement. The hundreds of Badge applications reviewed by SSA’s Badge and Record office each year reflect the popularity of this challenging and rewarding program, administered in compliance with the FAI Sporting Code. Detailed information about the program and requirements can be obtained directly from The Soaring Society of America.

FAI Silver Badge

The FAI Silver Badge involves 3 required elements. Silver Altitude is a 1,000-meter (3,281-foot) altitude gain above an in-flight low point; Silver Duration is a 5-hour flight time after tow release and Silver Distance is a 50-km (31.07-mile) cross country flight. As of January 1, 1996, a total of 5,826 Silver badges had been awarded in the US.

FAI Gold Badge

The FAI Gold Badge involves 2 required elements. Gold Altitude is a 3,000-meter (9,843-foot) altitude gain above an in-flight low point; Gold Distance is a 300-km (186.42-mile) cross country flight. As of January 1, 1996, a total of 2,140 Gold Badges have been awarded in the US.

FAI Diamond Badge

The FAI Diamond Badge involves 3 required elements. Diamond Altitude is a 5,000-meter (16,404-foot) altitude gain above an in-flight low point; Diamond Goal is a 300-km (186.42-mile) cross country flight using a pre-declared Out and Return or Triangle course; Diamond Distance is a 500-km (310.7-mile) cross country flight. As of January 1, 1996, a total of 818 Diamond Badges have been awarded in the US among a total of 5,846 worldwide.

Words of Wisdom

[The following quotations stolen from GBSC website]

“The local soaring pilot is likely to have two closely associated handicaps; a desire to stay as high as possible and, to that end, to use every scrap of lift he encounters. This will markedly reduce his progress.” (Soaring Across County p58)

“It is likely that the local soaring Pilot will not glide purposefully toward the next source of lift. Every circle flown is equivalent to one kilometer of distance lost, or ground not covered. Every circle that can be dispensed with is a benefit in terms of distance flown and speed. What is required on the pilot’s part is recognition of the need to fly straight as often as possible, and ignore or reject weak lift.” (Soaring Across County p59)

“The Pilot with confidence will use a lower height band that has the strongest lift, and gains the advantage of both using the best lift, and also seeing more easily where the next lift is because he does not climb to cloud base where visibility is obscured.” (Soaring Across County p58)

“If there is more than a very light surface wind, it is likely that there will be some streeting of lift. Do not glide directly upwind or downwind unless you are in lift. If you fly more than a minute or two without finding lift, always turn across wind. You may have been flying directly up a street of sink and turning off will give you a far better chance of cutting across a street of lift. If any turbulence is felt, turn back into or downwind to contact a useable area of lift.” (Gliding p195)

Technique Tutorials

Kai Gertsen Intro to Cross Country

Cross Country Technique

Turnpoint Files

Springfield Turnpoint Files